E.U. Ban Leads to Seal Meat Popularity in Canada


With the surging popularity of nose-to-tail cuisine, evident on restaurant menus across the country, increasingly innovative chefs are helping drive a new era of adventurous Canadian diners. Headcheese, brain, bone marrow, tongue, lungs and testicles — if you’re willing to eat it, you can be sure a chef in town is willing to cook it.

And, that goes for different types of protein as well, including once-taboo choices like horse and seal. In fact, in the face of criticism from the European Union about the annual seal cull off the coast of Newfoundland — which led to an E.U. ban on Canadian seal products this past summer — many Canadian restaurants have ramped up the promotion of seal meat on their menus.

A recent article in the U.K. publication The Telegraph tackles the controversial issue of seal meat and its resurgence in popularity at Canadian restaurants. The writer claims that many people in the Atlantic Canada and Quebec foodservice industries are happy for the E.U. ban, because it’s “provoked a patriotic backlash among the country’s normally placid citizens” and led to an increase in demand. Curious tourists have also helped prop up the seal meat industry.

Up to 300,000 seals are killed off the coast of Newfoundland in the annual cull each year. To read the Telegraph story, click here.

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